Media Center

Press Release


  January 12, 2005

Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista, today addressed the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) and presented his platform as a candidate to lead the OAS General Secretariat.

“The OAS agenda should respond to the concerns and needs of all member states. That implies overcoming the current situation in which it is perceived that the OAS has not been able to fully incorporate the aspirations of the less developed countries of Central and South America and the concerns of the Caribbean island states,” he said.

Poverty, inequality and unemployment “constitute serious threats to democratic stability in various states of the hemisphere,” said Derbez, who called for a renewed focus on economic, social, educational, cultural and technological issues.

“Within the framework of the OAS, an important political agenda has been developed and this clearly must be strengthened,” he said. “However, the time has come to carry out with greater conviction an Agenda for Development with a broad, integral perspective that allows for a necessary balance between the political agenda and the development agenda.”

During the special session of the Permanent Council, chaired by Ambassador Manuel María Cáceres of Paraguay and with Acting Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi present, Derbez assured the member states that he would continue to give priority to democracy and human rights. He referred to the Inter-American Democratic Charter, saying that “its validity and strength are derived from its application in crisis situations.”

“If I am elected Secretary General, I am committed to taking to the Permanent Council all those situations which could endanger the free exercise of democracy in our region,” he said.

In presenting his extensive plan for the Organization, Derbez also talked about the need to find greater resources for the OAS and to strengthen the ties between the OAS and the Summits of the Americas. Following his formal presentation, he answered questions posed by several ambassadors, stressing that the OAS must be a relevant body that can face the hemisphere’s most important challenges.

For the Organization to work at its peak capacity, “it is necessary that the election of the Secretary General take place as soon as possible,” Derbez said.

The next Secretary General will be elected by the 34 member states at a date yet to be determined. The two official candidates to date are Derbez and Chile’s Interior Minister, José Miguel Insulza.

Reference: E-008/05